In the final NBA game ever to be played in New Jersey, the Nets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 105-87 behind 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists from Andre Iguodala. The Sixers had a balanced effort tonight, with 6 players scoring in double figures. Thaddeus Young was a big spark off the bench, as he made his first 7 shots from the field and was 7-8 for the game. For the Nets, Marshon Brooks led the way with 18 points, but bad possessions and turnovers killed the Nets late in this game. The stat you need to know for this game is that the Sixers had 25 assists to just 7 turnovers while the Nets had 15 assists to 12 turnovers. They were clearly missing Deron Williams in this game.
Philadelphia got out to a hot start in this game, leading 31-18 after the first quarter and never lost the lead again. The Nets did make their run, however, to close the Philly lead to just 1 in the third quarter. Then, the Sixers opened the game back up and were able to win by 18 points after closing the game on an extended run. For more on individual plays and moments from this game, check out our live game notes.
With this win, the Philadelphia 76ers have officially clinched a playoff spot. However, that was not the story from tonight. The story was that this game was the last game ever to be played in New Jersey. Because of this, the Nets were able to sell out the Prudential Center with Nets fans for the first time this year. The previous sellouts have all been filled with Knicks, Heat, Celtics, or Spurs fans. It was beautiful to see Nets fans in the crowd, especially coming after a homestand against three of the teams above where Nets fans were outnumbered. When the Nets fans were making their run in the third quarter and at times in the fourth quarter, there were loud chants of “Let’s go Nets” even without the PA announcer playing the chants on the video board. It was a classy way for the Nets to leave New Jersey, even if it was the first time in a long time that Nets fans were passionate for their team during a game. If only they could have been like that the whole season…
Player stats, grades, and notes:
Marshon Brooks: 18 points, 6-14 FG, 5-5 FT, 2 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl, 1 to, 34 min. Grade: B
Marshon is emerging as the best scorer on this team full of random D-League call-ups, rookies, and third string players. He did not shoot the ball very well tonight, but still led the team with 18 points. He also tied for the team lead in assists with 4. His defense on Evan Turner was not very good for most of the night. Average performance from Marshon.
Jordan Williams: 8 points, 2-4 FG, 4-4 FT, 4 reb, 0 blk, 24 min. Grade: C
This was better than some of J-Will’s previous games, but was still not very good. He needs Deron Williams if he wants to make plays. He can’t do it by himself. His defense on Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes was not very good.
Gerald Wallace: 11 points, 5-15 FG, 0-0 FT, 6 reb, 4 ast, 1 blk, 3 to, 39 min. Grade: C+
This was one of Wallace’s worst shooting games, and yet he still seemed to be all over the court tonight going after loose balls and hustling. His shots were not falling, but he was still a major part of the offense and defense. I was satisfied with his effort tonight.
Kris Humphries: 16 points, 3-7 FG, 10-12 FT, 12 reb, 5 off reb, 0 blk, 2 to, 31 min. Grade: B+
This is exactly what the Nets ask of Humphries every night. He is not an impact player on offense, but he was still able to go to the foul line 12 times, which is excellent. He outrebounded everyone on the Sixers, especially on the offensive side. A very good game from Humphries, but he needs someone else to step up to help him on offense.
Armon Johnson: 10 points, 5-10 FG, 2 reb, 2 ast, 1 to, 23 min. Grade: B-
Armon may have replaced Sundiata in the starting lineup. Too bad there’s only one game left. Sundiata only played 11 minutes in this game, and I believe all of those minutes came in the first half. AJ was solid throughout the night and was able to drive to the basket for layups and floaters. We still have not gotten any sort of look at his jump shot, which means it is probably not very good. In my opinion, Armon does a better job at running the offense than Sundiata.
Johan Petro: 10 points, 5-8 FG, 1 reb, 1 blk, 0 to, 20 min. Grade: ???
Another very weird game for Petro. He only had 2 points until the fourth quarter, but in that quarter he made 4 baskets and he kept the Nets’ slim chances of winning the game alive. That’s right, the Nets were riding the broad shoulders of Johan Petro. However, he then gave the game back to Philadelphia because he is unable to rebound a basketball. His defense was also terrible. Petro is a 7-footer who played 20 minutes and only got 1 rebound. That’s unacceptable.
Wow. It is weird to say this, but we will never see another NBA game in the state of New Jersey. We will never see a half-empty Prudential Center or a bricked Deshawn 3 in front of a Nets crowd again. For these things and more nostalgia, I will be making a post tomorrow saying farewell to the New Jersey Nets. However, the season is not over yet! On Thursday, the Nets will be north of the border in Toronto where they will face the Raptors. Here at FRWD, we will have plenty of coverage of that sure to be exciting and energetic game! (I’m kidding by the way. That game is gonna be awful).